Editor’s Note: This interview is available as a podcast (above) and also as a written transcript that is edited and condensed for clarity. The written post (below) includes an additional introduction as well as number of relevant images.
Adam Lizek (better known in the digital art community simply as Adam or Rhynotic — his username on X) is a walking personification of the new wave of young, digitally native art collectors. Adam is a developer in his early 20s. His entire life has been mediated not just by the internet, but by mobile handheld devices and social networks.
The concept of digital ownership is not new or strange to digital art collectors like Adam. Before non fungible cryptoart, Adam was buying and selling video game assets such as CS:GO skins, which are unique digital objects in the Counter Strike universe. (Unlike most digital art, counterstrike paraphernalia doesn’t exist on a decentralized ledger like Ethereum, but on a centralized database maintained by a private company.)
By early 2021, Adam found himself trading NBA Top Shot moments as a way to make some money. Within a few months, Adam had immersed himself into the new world of digital artwork and collectibles. He was minting and flipping artist editions on Nifty Gateway. He was constantly hitting his limit of 100 Discords servers. By the middle of 2021, Adam was a regular contributor to numerous art communities, including as a moderator in XCOPY’s Discord.
After spending time with Adam, my sense is that he was initially attracted to NFTs as a way to speculate and make some money, and also because he was interested in the tech.
However, like a lot of today’s digital art collectors, the more time Adam spent learning about the objects he was trading, the more interested he became in the culture itself, and in the artists and collectors that were collectively shaping that culture.
As Adam’s interest deepened, he found himself “flipping NFTs” less often and “collecting digital art” more often. This path from speculator to appreciator to collector to evangelist is not uncommon. This pattern is one of the reasons I believe there will be many many more digital art collectors a few decades from now than there are traditional art collectors in 2023. The pathways to get into digital art are more widely distributed, democratic, and non-judgmental.
In summer 2021, without really planning for it, Adam stumbled into starting his own business by developing a product that most digital art collectors have interacted with at one point or another — a wallet verification bot which he named Vulcan.
Artists such as XCOPY, Alpha Centauri Kid, Luis Ponce and many others had been hiring Adam to customize bots for their Discords. Sensing an opportunity, Adam developed a business that would allow anyone to integrate his bot into their Discord and customize it to their liking. Less than a year after founding the company, Vulcan was acquired by Premint, where Adam still works.
Adam and I met up on Zoom while he was visiting New York City and trying to decide whether to move there from Austin (he did, a few weeks later). About a month after our first meeting, I met him in person in Marfa, Texas for the annual Art Blocks Weekend. In my time with Adam, I have been impressed by his relaxed, casual vibes and his bright energy. He seems to me like a person who is in the flow of life. He is doing things he wants to be doing. He is having fun. He is spending time on things that make him excited. He is hungry to learn and grow.
There is also a lot that Adam doesn’t know, which he readily admits. He doesn’t feel the need to portray a facade of “having it all figured it out.”
During our interview, we discussed:
How he first got into NFTs
Emerging artists on his radar
One piece of art he hopes to never sell
His strategy (or lack thereof) when it comes to collecting
How his early work building bots led to an amazing art collection
His hopes and dreams for his future
His biggest NFT cope
What is behind the name “Rhynotic”
The story of why he had the conviction to go big on Sam Spratt and acquire three Skulls of Luci for under $25,000 total, and a behind the scenes look into his trade with Snowfro for one of those skulls in exchange for a Cryptopunk and two Chromie Squiggles.
His greatest fears
Price predictions for one year from now
And a whole lot more!
Please enjoy my conversation with Adam Lizek, AKA Rhynotic.
p.s. If you enjoy this conversation, please press the ❤ button at the top of this post and share it on social. If you have questions or feedback, please comment on this post (if you’re reading this in your email, you can view the browser or app version here).
p.p.s I recently created an Instagram account. You can find me @montyreport.
This issue is brought to you by my partners at Wild.xyz.
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A Conversation with Adam Lizek AKA Rhynotic
Where are you right now?
I'm visiting New York and staying in the East Village. It’s just lovely. I've visited like six times this year, and I am finally going to move here I think. I've been saying this forever. I saw Ben Skaar’s comment on your Twitter to ask me when I’m going to move to New York. OK Ben, fuck you, you’re right.
Where did you grow up?
You live in Austin now. Why do you want to move to New York?
The art scene in New York is really cool and I'm just tired of Austin. After college, I moved to Austin for a job, and then I quit my job, and then I started NFTs, and here we are.
Every time I visit New York I have such a great time. I'm still 23. I feel like I would love Austin if I was like 30. But the bar scene isn't amazing right now for me.
Editor’s Note: Since this interview happened, Adam pulled the trigger and officially made the move to New York.
What did you learn from reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer?
Oh god. I learned a lot.
I read that book during the pandemic and it gave me a really cool perspective on how you can observe the world and just let everything pass over you and not get stuck on one idea and one feeling.
If you can do that, you can be fluid. You won't get mad or anything.
That was the main thing I took from the book.
When I read it, the one analogy that has always stuck with me was the idea of your thoughts being your roommate. Sometimes your roommate is annoying, sometimes they root you on, sometimes they don't have your best interest at heart. But rather than thinking of your thoughts as you, think of them as a roommate in your head and you get to listen to them talk.
Yeah, we are not our thoughts. We are the passenger, or the observer. It all goes back to not getting stuck on things. I always get stuck on things, so it's good to remember that.
When did you first get into NFTs? What was your first purchase?
I tell everyone that it was a Mad Dog Jones piece - Why would I care I'm just a cat. Whether or not that's true, I have to double check. Maybe a Top Shot moment was before that.
I vividly remember going and buying the Mad Dog Jones piece for $2,500 on my Amex card when I was in college, and it was a lot of money.
I have it tattooed on my leg.
Why did you buy the Mad Dog Jones edition? Why did you decide one day you’re going to spend $2,500 on this piece?
I used to do a lot of shoe flipping and shoe botting. That was my thing. I know a lot of people did the pivot from sneakers to Top Shot to Nifty Gateway. It was a very common trail for people.
There were a lot of open editions on Nifty Gateway at that time. Right around then, an edition by Boss Logic had just gone up 10X in two days. If you paid $1,000, you now had $10,000. Obviously, those numbers are attractive and I was like, "What is this? What am I missing?"
I think the Beeple sale was also right around that time – the big $69 million sale. Things were bubbling up. I was like, "You know what, I really want to get into this, I'm going to buy this Mad Dog Jones edition." I can’t remember if I bought one or three, but I somehow ended up with three editions eventually. Then they went from $2500 to $12,000 each, and I was like, “This is more money than I've ever had.”
I didn't sell them, obviously, at the top. But I did buy them to flip them. And now here I am no longer flipping anything really.
What’s your most memorable sneaker flip?
I hate to say the most memorable is the one I made the most money on.
They were an Off White Air Force One in Canary Yellow. I think I sold those for $2000 or $3000.
Tell me about your career journey since you graduated college.
I work at Premint full-time, working on Vulcan. That’s my day job but it's not like a normal day job.
Out of college in 2021 I got a job at a company in Austin and it was remote. Then after three months, they wanted me to come in to the office and I was like, “No, I do not want to do that, I will find something else.”
I was doing NFT stuff on the side at that point and this was right before the big August 2021 run. I was friends with these people at Crypto Raiders, which was like a MATIC dungeon crawling game, and I got a two week job helping them with some code. I thought it was awesome and realized I could totally work in the crypto space as a developer.
Then I started doing side projects for artists' custom verification bots. The first one was actually XCOPY, which is really funny. I was a moderator in his Discord. That happened just because I asked him – like, do you want a moderator? And he said, sure.
The Discord had a really shitty bot that kept giving everyone the SuperRare one-of-one holder role. I was like, this bot is bad and I can do something better than this. So, I made a custom bot for XCOPY.
Then other people saw that and wanted it. Alpha Centauri Kid hit me up and wanted one, Lucréce, Luis Ponce – a lot of people that I hadn't heard of yet at the time. I did their sales bots and verification bots all looped into one.
In fall 2021, I did 15 bots in one month and I was getting 1 ETH per bot. And I was like, “Holy shit – This is like $60,000 in a month” because that was back when ETH was $4,000 or whatever. I thought, “This is amazing, what am I doing?” because it was more than my salary at the time. That’s right around when I quit my job.
Anyway, I kept doing all these custom bots and then I realized I was just doing the same thing over and over again. That's dumb. I should just make one bot that people can configure and edit themselves for their server. That was the inspiration for Vulcan.
Then Premint acquired Vulcan?
Yes. in May or or June 2022.
Vulcan was just me and I had a friend who helped me scale it to some extent, who is an amazing software developer. I just wrote the code as best as I could and then my friend helped me out with it.
You're still a mod in XCOPY and ACK’s Discords?
I am. I’m a mod in a few others too, but I’m not active in them. I constantly hit my Discord limit and I have to leave one. But the only ones I'm really active in are XCOPY – that's like my daily one that I'm always in – and then ACK, I pop in and out. Whenever ACK needs something, I help him.
ACK said on Twitter that you're one of his favorite people he's come to know over the past two years.
That's awesome. I saw that comment and I didn't respond to it. I was texting him today. I love ACK. I've met him four or five times. He's awesome. He's a great dude. He's super humble and just appreciative of what he has and the space — he has a really cool path.
MP Koz commented on ACK's comment and he seconded what ACK said.
MP Koz is awesome, too. I did his sales bot as well, which is funny. That's how I met all of these people.
That was actually my investment strategy for a bit. I would take the ETH that they gave me and then I would buy their art. I thought if these people are willing to put 1 ETH into their sales bots and their verifications, they're investing in their brand, they believe that it's worth it.
I have so many Louise Ponce pieces now. I have a Ripcache one-of-one. I have a bunch of ACKs. So it worked. Those have all been great purchases.
There's a lesson there about participating in a space by adding value and building. It's not just that you can earn income, it's also that you meet people, you develop these relationships, and you get an inside look at some things that might be more valuable later. Not that it's all transactional of course – the relationships are great to have just in and of themselves.
Besides buying art from people who you have worked with or you know personally, do you have a strategy or a thesis or criteria when it comes to what you're investing or collecting?
Not at all, which is the best way to do it.
People always say I'm being humble. They ask, “How do you have such a good eye?” I don’t. I’m just on Twitter a lot, and if it's cool, if it's on my Twitter, it's probably someone I follow who collects the same things. That seems to work so far.
So my strategy has just been buying things that are cool and paying attention to what my friends are into.
But at the same time, you have limited ETH. And sometimes you do decide to go big. An example would be Sam Spratt. Back when the Skulls of Luci were still under 15 ETH, you decided to buy two. You spent a fair amount of ETH, nearly 25 ETH total, for these skulls long before they became incredibly sought after.
You already had one skull in your collection which you received as a free bidder’s edition, yet you still decided to pony up for two more. You had this foresight about Sam. Why did you have the conviction to go big at that moment?
I talked to Sam a bit before that. I didn't know him personally before Luci or anything like that. But I did know of his works, I think a lot of people do and just don't realize it.
When I'm talking to my friends about Sam, I was like, “He did Man on the Moon III, he did all of Logic’s albums. You know his art.”
That's how I found out about him initially. Then I saw that he was doing Luci. He had announced that there would be a bidder's edition.
So I told all my friends to bid on it. And they’re like “what if I win?” I said, if you win, you’ll be very happy.
So I got a skull and four or five of my friends got Skulls just because we bid on the piece.
Then a few months later I was watching the skulls on secondary and thinking to myself that they were priced low in ETH, plus ETH was at like $900.
I thought he might do something with them, but I also thought even if he doesn't, Sam is on a really good path. I just had a really good feeling.
So, I bought the only two skulls that were listed. Both of them were under $15,000 at the time.
Joey Lawrence said “I’d like to hear the story of Adam using a Luci Skull for liquidity, winning, and getting it back.”
This would have been right before the Consensus conference, right when all the shit coins were popping off like Pepe and Turbo.
I took a 40 ETH on-chain loan on one of my Skulls, on Arcade. Which is also really cool just to be able to see I got like a $75,000 loan on something I got for free. That’s awesome.
So, I took that and then got very lucky just buying into Turbo and there was another one called Reaper's Gambit. I think I made like 40 ETH in a couple weeks. I took a 90-day loan out on the Skull, but I paid it off in 20 days.
I used that ETH that I made. I bought a Summer Wagner piece on AOTM. That was 9 ETH. I love that, and I'm glad I have it.
I want to say I bought other things, what they are … I can’t even remember, it’s crazy.
The blockchain knows
Yeah somehow I spent all my money and now I have no ETH at all.
So, for people who aren’t familiar, you traded one of your Skulls of Luci with Snowfro for a CryptoPunk and some unminted Squiggles. Can you tell me the backstory of how that trade went down?
I had never met Snowfro until the Consensus conference, but I knew what he looked like. Sam was giving a talk and before or after the talk I was outside with another collector named Sunday Funday. He was wearing a Squiggle shirt. I saw Snowfro walking out and I didn't realize these two knew each other. They were talking and then someone mentioned unminted Squiggles.
So I told Snowfro I would give him a Luci Skull for ten unminted squiggles. And he was like, “Redbeard offered me a lower number.”
Redbeard is also on the council for anyone unfamiliar, but he really helps coordinate trades for people that are interested, or people that are trying to leave the council, even though no one's really trying to leave. He's really about that.
So Redbeard let me know that there was an offer on the table for unminted Squiggles. So, we went back and forth on prices. I still wanted 10, but he loves those Squiggles and he does not want to give them away. So, we ended up settling on a CryptoPunk, which I got to pick from a few options, plus two unminted Squiggles.
There's also a funny story that I don't know if anyone's heard yet publicly.
Redbeard texted me a couple days before the Squiggle mint to confirm my wallet.
So the day of the mint, I was waiting for my Squiggles, refreshing OpenSea, and then all of a sudden I look and I have seven Squiggles. I was like this is weird.
I was at a happy hour with some friends, some of whom are into NFT stuff and some of whom are not. I said, “I just got an extra $100,000. Sorry, just give me a second. I need to figure this out.” I was like, oh maybe Snowfro just decided to give me five extra. Like I don’t know why he would do that, but the thought crossed my mind.
Then I got a text from Redbeard asking which ones I got, and I said, “Dude, I don't know. I got seven.” He was like, “What the hell? You gotta tell Snowfro!” I said I will, but I was going to a trivia night and I'd figure it out when I got home.
Then he texted me saying “oh wait five of those were mine, send them to my wallet.”
I found out that they were for his fund, and he gave Snowfro my wallet twice instead of his wallet. And then I was like, “But I get to pick, right?” And he was like, “Sure whatever.” But I knew which two token IDs were supposed to be mine. And luckily, the rarest one was a fuzzy, and that was my token ID.
You mentioned you have some friends who are in NFTs and some friends who aren't really into NFTs. What do your friends who aren't into NFTs think about your life?
Some of them get it. And some of them will get it. That is how I view it.
Some are genuinely interested in NFTs. Some think that NFTs are a fad, but they get why I do it. Then there are others who don't really get it and think that I’m wasting money. I get a lot of that.
I try to explain it the best I can, and I think art is the best way. So, even if people don't get the NFT thing, if they come to my apartment and they see all these art pieces that I have hanging up, they're like, “Oh, this is really cool. I get it.”
How do you display your art?
I had a token frame for a bit. It's currently not hanging up, I had some issues with it. It worked great for a little bit and then I brought it to a party and I was displaying my NFTs there for my friend. I could not get it to work there and then it hasn't worked since.
But I have a bunch of physicals hanging up.
I have one of Henrik Uldalen’s pieces that came with a physical - It's a woman with a smushed face almost, and it looks great.
I have some other physical counterparts. I have the Fvckrender Avante Art piece - Feel. I have my ACK hanging up. I have my Skull physical. I have some William Mapans.
I don't have a great way to display my digital art currently. But I'm not collecting it to display it currently.
How do you decide when to sell pieces?
Lately it has just been because I need liquidity to buy something else, and then I'll just go through my highest offers.
I have a rule I have been trying to stick to – don't sell any XCOPYs. Because anything I sell it for will not do as well as what I think my XCOPYs will do in the long run. I always have that in the back of my mind.
I'm not currently trying to exit anything. I think the only thing I have listed right now is my Alpha Centauri Kid piano. I have it listed for 50. If someone wants it for 50, great.
You picked that up for 9 ETH, right?
Yeah, I picked it up for 9 ETH, which was the lowest winning bid.
I had something on loan and that was how I got the 9 ETH for that auction, then I had to sell something else. I'm learning that I don't like this loan stuff. It's risky and I should just buy things that I can afford.
Were you into art at all growing up?
I'd go to the MoMA. I'd go to the Met. I'd go to all these museums, and I didn't really get it, and I didn't really connect with it as much as I do now at all. I knew Dali, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Monet. I had my favorites. But besides that, I thought it was stupid.
So definitely, my favorite thing I've gotten out of this whole journey is an appreciation for art.
Now I still don't get it, I'm not trained, but I appreciate it. I want to figure out what’s the meaning behind it, but I don't go to the MoMA and pretend like I know what they were trying to say.
Have you onboarded your parents to NFTs?
Yes, they get it and they don't. For Christmas this year, I got three ledgers, I didn’t put anything crazy on them. I gave each of them a Non NFT, which is the XCOPY, Neurocolor, Moxarra collab, because I have like 20 of those.
It was a $500 or $800 gift at the time.
My mom would then keep track and call me and say “it looks like the price is going down.” I’m like “don’t worry about it.
But I helped them set it up, I was like, “Here are your 12 words and I want you to never ever use them ever. Even if I call you and you think it's me, never use it. You'll never need it.” Obviously, good OpSec is even if I called them, they shouldn't be able to give the seed phrase.
So, they're officially onboarded. They get it. I talked to them tons about XCOPY and whatnot. I don't know if they actually care or if they care because I care, but I think there's some interest bubbling.
I had a big XCOPY sale in 2021. It was like the biggest sale I've had. I sold something to Cozomo and I called my mom and said I’m like mom I just sold this for hundreds of thousands of dollars, should I quit my job? She was like, “No, don’t do that. Bad idea. You’re going to lose it all.” It was a funny response.
So they get it. They like it. They're proud of me. They think it's cool.
You’re only 23. Besides continuing to collect art and work in the space, what are your goals in life? What are your goals for the next decade?
We're working on it. I think my first goal is to figure out my goals.
It's really cool having a product that people use. I think that's awesome. And if for some reason people stop using Discord and Vulcan and it all fades away, I'd probably work on something else that interests me.
I don't think that's going to happen, but I'm taking it day-by-day for now and working on that.
I want to grow, I want to just keep growing day by day, and that's all I can really do.
I want to move to New York but I'm trying to rationalize the pros and cons. Who knows? Maybe by the time this comes out, I’ll have already decided. But I can always just move to New York, and hate it, and then move back, and I'm still 24. There's no rush for anything at all.
What do you like about Summer Wagner?
Summer is awesome. I think her pieces are really cool. She really knows how to tell a story with them.
She did four edition drops and I remember seeing those and I don't think I bought any at the time, but it was really interesting and I looked into her stuff.
Then, at NFT NYC, I ran into her, Briscoe Park, and Alizé Jireh – all photographers in the space and all awesome people. I ran into them like five different times at different events and we talked every time. They were just super cool people. I had such a great experience in person that I really did want a piece. That personal connection is something I look for when I am collecting.
I saw that ACK just bought Summer’s last one-of-one. That whole series is awesome.
What resonates with you about Jack Kaido?
The only work I own by Jack are Polaroids. That's one of his first collections. I have three Polaroids. I thought they were really cool at first, and then I loved them even more when I dug into them and I got to know him more, too. He's an awesome guy and his style is constantly evolving.
The stuff he's doing now is awesome. I love it. Traces - his new style, I love it. He's pulling in different UX elements from Mac and Paint, and it just looks awesome.
I got to meet him, which was really cool. Although he is fully anon, he's super dedicated. When I was talking to him after the visit, he was going to go check a bunch of famous de Kooning spots for inspiration. He was telling me all about it.
Especially seeing all his pieces at Christie's was crazy. The two that he had there were beautiful. I wish I had bought them. I think Artifaction bought both of them, if I remember correctly.
I still think Jack Kaido is underrated.
I've come to love digital abstract expressionism. I think it's awesome. I didn't really get it at first. I understood digital abstract expressionism before I was interested in normal, traditional abstract expressionism. You can’t explain it. Either you like it or you don't, but you can pull whatever you want from it.
I also have some Omente Jovem pieces, and I think he's great.
Who are a few lesser-known or emerging artists that you're feeling excited about right now?
Spøgelsesmaskinen. I love his work. I found him from an open edition and I think there were a couple works collected by XCOPY. He does a lot of Tezos pieces, so I bought a bunch of his Tezos pieces a while ago. I don't even know what I would call his style but I love it. It's awesome. He says the NFT Poltergeist is his thing.
In the same vein, Smash Dirt. He's still lesser known, I would say. I have a lot of his editions. I have maybe two one-of-ones.
Jameson Art. I love Jameson. I met him in New York in the line for the TJo event, which was fun. I really like SVGs and his style is really cool.
Elispri as well. They do a lot of meme pieces, but their art is really good. They have a lot of Grant Yun, ones they were inspired by. I actually have a Luci Pepe that they did, that was awesome. The one I have is the dense passage. I think they're capturing the meme economy. Those are off the top of my head four.
What's your biggest NFT COPE?
There are so many things I’ve missed out. I don't love Board Apes, I've never owned one, but there have been so many opportunities to get them at low prices. Even when they minted out, I was going to bed and people were talking about it in the Nifty Gateway chat. I think there were still like 5000 left or something. I was just like I’m just going to go to bed and I'll buy one in the morning. Then obviously, they were all sold out and I'm like I’m not paying 3 ETH for this. I was down like 95% on all my Nifty Gateway items that time. Definitely missed that, that one really hurt.
One story that’s not really a cope but kind of wild: I was really bad with my AMEX in college. I got it as a business card. I was buying NFTs, selling them, and paying off the card. It was like a whole thing. Really dumb. Keep in mind I was in college, I was broke. I had a $60,000 or $70,000 credit card bill. I thought I'm nuts, this is dumb. I'm about to lose it all. This is really stupid. I'm ruined. But I sold a bunch of NFTs and I got it down to $20,000.
It still was a huge bill. I needed a miracle. I'm not a religious person, but I needed a miracle. I had my second monitor open and it was the Nifty Gateway activity feed. People used to forget zeros all the time and list things for $1,000 instead of $10,000. So, I was constantly watching for that just in case. Then someone listed an NFT for a dollar. I didn’t know what it was, but it was a dollar. The cheapest one at the time was 50 bucks, so I bought it really quick and then my account got locked. They thought I hacked this guy.
The guy was like, “No, I did that on purpose but I tried to cancel it really quick and he was faster than me.” So, he admitted he did it on purpose and they unlocked my account. It was a Fewocious Shattered Glass. It was a one of 25, and I sold it the next day for $16,000.
That was that guy's biggest COPE.
Yeah. That guy was nice, but he was like, “You should list something for a dollar.” I'm like, “No, that's dumb.”
What's behind your name - Rhynotic?
I used to play Minecraft a lot and it comes from Minecraft.
I used to play on a server, grind it and try to get as many materials as I could. I would have three accounts all running at the same time. My first account was something Red Sox related because I was like a fan, even though I'm not.
For my other account, I just thought ‘rhino’ sounded cool — the animal. Then I added ‘tic’ at the end because I thought it sounded even cooler. I spelled it wrong, too. That wasn't intentional. I was in like eighth grade and wasn't spelling correctly.
When it came to Twitter, I didn't really know what to make it other than my name, so I just went with that and it stuck.
I used to go by Red a lot, something Red Sox, then I shortened it to Red. It's my Steam name. But obviously, Red is taken on Twitter, so I chose Rhynotic.
Besides digital art and ETH, do you invest in anything else?
Currently, no. I really should have a 401k. I should have a Roth IRA and stuff, but I'm investing in what I know, which is currently this. I've tried having a stock portfolio and I really should, but I don’t know, right know I don’t.
I used to invest a lot in TF2 hats and CS:GO skins. CS:GO skins are booming. But that's how I used to make my money —trading up TF2 hats. I understood digital ownership that way.
What would you say are your biggest fears?
There is always the fear that what we're doing is a bubble, but I don't think it is. And every day I spend in it, I think it is less. If you really think that's true and you're working every day, you’re not going to make it. You’re wasting your time.
I used to be afraid of death. That was like my biggest fear. Then COVID hit and I actually thought I was dying every day. I didn't get over that, because you can’t really, but I accepted it. I think it’s still my biggest fear, but less so now. I’m not panicky and I've accepted we're all going to die.
The sad realization is we are all getting old and we are going to die, especially because I'm not a religious person. I have a hard time grasping life after death. Non-existence is a weird thing to think about. But I've accepted it.
Besides work and digital art stuff, what brings you joy on a day to day basis? What do you like to do with your time?
Lately, I've been trying to figure that out. But it's awesome hanging out with people that I'm friends with. I enjoy their company.
I still skateboard every once in a while, although I'm getting worse. If I hit my head, like that's it. Is it worth it? I don't know, but I still cruise around. It's always fun.
I just like walking around and people watching. It's been great. I bike ride when I'm home. It’s nice being out.
Lately I've started microdosing mushrooms. That brings me joy. It's a nice, unique perspective of the world.
What dosage do you use for your microdoses?
0.2 grams, but they're really strong.
So, it's not sub perceptual, like you're experiencing an altered state?
Yeah, I feel high. When I microdose often, sometimes I don't feel high and I just feel slightly different. I used to be on anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications but I didn't love them. I was only on it for anxiety reasons. People suggested trying mushrooms. It is sad how they're not normalized yet when there's so much more history of the benefits of psilocybin versus the benefits of Prozac or anything.
Have you found that it's helped with your anxiety?
Oh, yeah, 100%. I used to take it every third day and I noticed a great improvement. Now I just take it whenever. I haven't taken it in a couple weeks, but I'm not craving it. I never had a drop off or anything. I really wish it was more normalized, and it's probably better for you than a lot of the things that we consume. And it’s not that drugs bring me joy, but it's fun to go to the park and microdose.
I also like music and movies. I think Jake Fried tweeted about consuming culture. And that resonated with me - I am a culture consumer, this is exactly right. I want good movies. I want good food. I want good books and music. Anything that people are putting their heart and soul into, I want to give my full attention to and I want to take it in.
You say you don't really have a strategy when it comes to buying art and you just buy what you like, but I think that consuming culture regularly gives you an eye. Even if you're consuming non art stuff, it just hones your brain to figure out what you like, what gets you going, and that can apply to different domains.
Yeah, I wouldn't say it's a conscious decision I make in terms of art collecting. But if someone's being genuine and they're really interested in their craft and they're being very passionate about it and they're not just trying to make money, that's a very attractive thing as a collector.
Totally. And probably one of the reasons why you decided to go big on Sam Spratt, for example.
All right, Adam, let's finish up with a few rapid fire questions here.
You've mentioned a bunch throughout this interview, but anyone you haven't mentioned who are other collectors that you pay close attention to.
Yeah, I love my dudes. KDean is awesome. Noochie is a great collector. And I have my friend, KevBot, who's a lesser known collector, but we have a lot of things that we have split. My friend Colin as well. We do a lot of co-collecting, us three, which is awesome.
And there's some other ones like Perilous. We talk a lot and we've met before. There's another one, Finance News Guy. And I have some dudes from the Austin NFT community. I have a friend named Oslo and a friend named Ty who I met through the space and the mania, and they're still here. We'll text about what they're collecting, what I'm collecting, and it's really nice to shoot ideas off each other, too.
You mentioned co-collecting. Do you mean you guys go in on a one on one together, is that what you mean?
Yep. Me and Colin specifically have a Lucréce piece split together called Social Metropolis. It's the red and the blue.
Me and Kev have a bunch of pieces split together. We have a Lucrece Monster. We have that Polaroid by Jack Kaido. We have the XCOPY Siphon Edition from Nifty Gateway. It’s one of 20 in blue. That was a big purchase, too. In 2021, I bought the number one edition for 16 ETH and then I ended up selling it for 70. So, that was like another big flip I had.
But I rebought a Siphon with Brendan Mulligan, my boss at Premint, and Kev. We all split it three ways. We really should’ve used a Gnosis safe and split it up three ways and whatnot, but we didn’t. It's just in someone's wallet.
And is the agreement like if you ever want to sell this, you’ll just collectively have to decide to do that?
Yeah, it's very informal and it's all built on trust.
Favorite place to eat lunch in Austin?
Probably Loro — barbecue Asian fusion. I don't know if you're familiar with Texas cuisine, but there is an awesome restaurant called Uchi by Tyson Cole, and then there's an awesome barbecue place called Franklin's, which is another very beautiful spot. So, Tyson Cole and Franklin came together and made Loro. It's a combination restaurant and they have great happy hour. Their lunch burger has Franklin's brisket on top and it’s awesome. It's like the best thing I've ever had.
What would you say is an underrated neighborhood in Austin for walking around?
There's Tarrytown, there's Clarksville, anything in the west side is really nice. There's also the Roy Anne Butler Trail that goes around the river. It's not underrated because everyone does that, but it's so beautiful and it's nice out.
This question comes from JohanNFT from XCOPY Discord: “If you could only keep one NFT from your collection, what would it be?”
Price aside and all that, probably Bottom Feeder by XCOPY.
Every once in a while, I try to sell it and it never sells. I’ll list it and then I get an undercut. But I've had that piece since 2021. That was my first XCOPY piece ever.
I negotiated with the guy on Twitter. It was $9,000. I've just had it so long, it's my child. But I still try to sell it every once in a while for some reason, and I never have been able to. But I'm not actively trying to sell it.
Or my Grifter is another good one. I used to have two Grifters that were minted by XCOPY and then in my wallet, but now I'm down to one. And I don't think I'll ever sell my Grifter. So, maybe that's a better answer. I've never listed it or anything.
I love my Grifter. They're not properly rated. The world will catch on to Grifters soon enough.
I agree. Even people who are in NFTs, they're like sleeping on Grifters. Why?
I still think, and this is like a firm belief, that The Rabble master would be so easy for a big museum like the MoMA to display. I love The Rabble. I don't own one, I really want to, I've been trying to.
But it would be so cool to be able to show that we own the master, but the individual layers are owned separately from individual collectors that can operate it in real-time. I think that'd be so sick. That's like what it'll be eventually. And that's like what it is now, even if it's not in a big museum, but I just think it'd be so easy to explain digital ownership and display it.
Async art is awesome. I love Async art. It's one of my favorite sites.
What are your favorite Jordans?
I'm only a Jordan I fan. The only ones I have right now are the mochas and the UNC ones.
I recently downsized my shoe collection. I'm still down to 20 pairs and I still have a lot, but I've slowly been migrating out of my sneakerhead phase and more to Rick Owens boots and various New Balances that have their different colorways and whatnot.
I know. I feel old because I used to wear Jordans and now I just wear Hokas because they're just so comfortable.
Yeah. The Jordans don't have any support. They are $160 shoes that are probably $10 to make. I feel a little bit better about my $500 Rick Owens shoes that cost $100 to make.
What are you reading right now?
I've been trying to get back into reading because my brain has turned to mush and I can't focus. I don't have the attention span to read a book, which is really bad. But I started reading Dune and it was a very tough read. It was hard to get into, so I stopped.
I'm currently reading Station Eleven. It's a little weird. There is a wine bookstore called Vintage in East Austin where you go and get a bottle of wine and you can just pick a book off a shelf and buy it or just read it, so I picked it up there.
It was a little weird reading it post-Covid. But if I read it before Covid, I would have treated everything a little differently.
I’m not done, but that's my currently active book and it's pretty easy to read.
Another book I just read, which seems like something you might like, is called Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. It's a story of these friends starting a video game company and then their lives unfolding, but it's just really well done. It was one of my favorite books I've read in the last year or so.
That does sound up my alley, actually.
My final questions for you, Adam, if you're willing to play, let's do some price predictions for one year from now.
What will ETH be in a year?
I'd like to say 4,000. I see all these market charts. I don't know anything, but definitely 4,000.
What's the Punk floor going to be?
Hopefully 75 and ETH will be so much higher.
Grifters are like 20, no question.
Like 20 as well.
These are very conservative bets as well. That's double for everything. But if these aren’t double, I don't know what is.
Excellent. Well, Adam, thank you so much for spending time with me today.
Thank you so much for having me.